It's 1966, you're a pervert in need of a voyeuristic fix but, hey, the Internet hasn't been invented yet -- no online sex shows, no 24-hour sorority-house webcams, no website porn, chat rooms, message boards, or passwords. What in the world is a degenerate to do? Well, you can always build yourself an Electronic Lover, a giant, pre microchip, UNIVAC-like computer about the size of a room complete with monitor, dials, and blinking lights that make it look like the control panel of a cheapo rocketship.
Which is exactly what the computer genius/psychotic crackpot (MIKE ATKINSON) of this very strange little film does. Though he's unnamed in the film, the pressbook calls him 'Master, who represents the voyeur in men.' His computer is located in a dark room with cloth-covered walls. (Maybe it's a tent. Who knows?) When he's not fondling himself in front of a mirror, Master likes to torment his servant, a creepy young man (JONATHAN MANOS) who cannot speak and is called 'Brother.' Armed with a cone-shaped 'remote camera' and wearing an earplug so he can hear Master's commands, Brother acts as a human browser by taking to the streets, following sexy young women, and sticking the camera into open windows. Not that Brother's particularly interested. As the camera records a young woman getting attacked on an apartment floor by a nasty gal and two hippie-type dudes, Brother sits passively on a fire escape staring into space.
In contrast, Master is so excited by the images Brother sends him that he sits in front of the computer shaking and sweating and hallucinating. LINDA BOYCE appears in front of him: 'I'm here, I'm here...' He then fantasizes UTA ERICKSON and Miss Boyce slobbering over him until soul sister NATARA suddenly appears and engages in some lesbian stylings with Miss Erickson. The black woman also dances topless causing Master to quickly become obsessed with her. 'Find the black girl, Brother,' he says as if she were real. Oddly, Brother not only finds her but follows her into a forest where she meets some hippies who get naked and run around displaying the kind of full-frontal nudity that's very surprising for 1966.
As if the film couldn't get more insane by this point, it then throws us a screwball surprise ending no human being could possibly anticipate...
Good lord. Moody, surreal, and completely out of its mind, Electronic Lover is one of those twisted sex films of the 1960's that look sicker and sicker with each passing day. Hard to believe there was once a time on this planet when you could walk up to an actual movie theater, hand the cashier a couple of bucks and say, 'One for ‘Electronic Lover,' please,' then take a seat and watch this demented oddity unfold on the big motion picture screen. Thirty some odd years later, you can now own it on a silver disc. Who would'a thought?
From a 35mm print 'in Voyeur-Vision.' -- Handsome Harry Archer
Jonathan ManosOther cast:
Linda Boyce, Uta Erickson, NataraDirected by: